'Times' editor to leave for 'Journal'

Robert Thomson, the editor of The Times for the past five years, is stepping down to run the newest addition to Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire, The Wall Street Journal.

His appointment as publisher of the New York title is expected to be announced this morning. At the same time, Mr Murdoch is also moving Les Hinton, the chairman of The Times's parent company News International, to run the Journal's parent group Dow Jones.

Mr Murdoch's wholesale importation of his senior British executives comes after News Corporation paid $5bn (2.4bn) to wrest control of Dow Jones from the secretive Bancroft family, which had run the Journal for more than a century.

In the process, the Australian media mogul faced significant opposition from the Journal's reporters and was forced to promise that he would set up an independent editorial board to prevent him from meddling in the paper's business coverage.